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  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College system and restore democracy by allowing the direct election of presidents through popular vote alone.“In an election, the person who gets the most votes should win. It’s that simple,” said Senator Schatz. “No one’s vote should count for more...
  • WASHINGTON — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) today established a new Special Committee on the Climate Crisis. The committee—comprised of ten Democratic senators— will be tasked with investigating, holding hearings, and issuing findings on the economic and national security consequences of climate change and how acting on the climate crisis presents significant opportunities for jobs, public health, and the economy. More specifically, the committee will work with...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will award 14 community health centers in Hawai‘i federal funding totaling $28,750,365.“Community health centers offer an affordable and accessible outlet for thousands of people across our state to receive care they might not otherwise be able to,” said Senator Schatz. “This funding will...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) led a group of 15 senators in calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to follow the law and protect the confidentiality of responses collected through the census. The letter to Attorney General William Barr follows reports about DOJ officials discussing the possibility of violating the confidentiality of information collected during the decennial census.“With the start of peak census operations only 11 months away, we urge...
  • WASHINGTON –Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, introduced the Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act of 2019. The bipartisan legislation would strengthen consumer protections by prohibiting commercial users of facial recognition technology (FR) from collecting and re-sharing data for identifying or tracking consumers without their consent.“Our faces are our...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Representative Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) introduced new legislation today that would protect public scientific research and reports from the influence of political and special interests, a longstanding concern that has taken on newfound urgency under President Trump.“These are challenging and unprecedented times for science. And while it’s not the first time it has been under attack, this time feels worse. That’s...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Ranking Member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, led a group of Democratic appropriators calling on the Department of Defense to provide Congress with a list of military projects it intends to defund to pay...
  • WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today, along with 12 of his Senate colleagues, urged the Department of Education to take immediate action to help students in the aftermath of its February 27 decision to terminate Argosy University’s eligibility for federal Title IV financial aid and amid reports of Argosy’s imminent closure. The senators called on the Department to immediately work with accreditors and states to establish options for students to continue...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i) and U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) led a group of 42 members of Congress in reintroducing the Debt-Free College Act, legislation that will reverse the growing student debt crisis in the United States. The bill restores a path to affordable college by providing states incentives through matching grants to increase investments in public higher education and provide students with debt-free college.If signed into law, the...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), and U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) introduced legislation to create a new progressive tax on financial transactions that would generate billions in revenue, while addressing economic inequality and reducing high risk and volatility in the market.“Over the last decade, Wall Street has made record profits from high-risk trades that have made the market dangerously...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), co-chair of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, led a group of 14 senators in calling on President Trump to abandon plans to form an internal group within the White House with the task of refuting the clear scientific consensus about the growing threat climate change poses to our national security and economy.“Allowing a fossil fuel industry-funded climate change denier and other climate skeptics to conduct an...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to hold a full day of floor debate on climate change.“We respectfully request you and your Republican colleagues join us for a full day of floor debate on the climate crisis before any vote is taken on the Green New Deal resolution. We believe it is imperative the American people hear where both sides stand on...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced new legislation to protect the credit reports of federal workers and contractors who were hurt by the government shutdown.“Our federal workers and contractors shouldn’t have their financial lives ruined because leaders in Congress and the White House can’t get their act together,” said Senator Schatz. “Our bill will protect federal employees and...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), lead Democrat on the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency. “To subvert Congress’s constitutional appropriations authority by invoking an emergency is an unlawful abuse of power. As an independent co-equal branch of government, we cannot allow this president to...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, voted to pass a bipartisan funding deal that will increase pay for federal workers by nearly 2 percent and boost funding for programs that benefit Hawai‘i. In committee, Senator Schatz successfully advanced state priorities that are now included in the final deal.“The deal will give every federal worker a well-deserved raise and add new funding for federal programs...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement after voting against the confirmation of William Barr to serve as the U.S. Attorney General.“Mr. Barr has been clear where he should be vague, and vague where he should be clear. He has made sweeping claims about Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation without knowing all the facts, describing potential lines of pursuit as ‘grossly irresponsible,’ ‘an unprecedented...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) reintroduced the State Public Option Act, bicameral legislation to create a Medicaid-based public health care option to strengthen the Affordable Care Act by providing Americans with a new high-quality, low-cost choice when purchasing health insurance.“Our bill will unlock each state’s Medicaid program to anyone who wants it, giving people a high-quality, low-cost...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement on the arrest of journalist Maria Ressa in the Philippines.“I am deeply concerned by reports that journalist Maria Ressa has been arrested on trumped-up charges in the Philippines. These charges should immediately be dropped, and Ms. Ressa should be free to go about her work. Instead of trying to silence journalists who are accurately reporting the news, the Filipino government should...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) reintroduced legislation to allow doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans in the 33 states that have established medical marijuana programs.In addition to creating a temporary, five-year safe harbor protection for veterans who use medical marijuana, the bicameral bill would also direct the VA to research how medical marijuana...
  • WASHINGTON—Today U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, voted to pass public lands legislation that would bring more federal funding to Hawai‘i and protect historic sites in the state. The package of bills provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which funds projects in Hawai‘i, and includes Schatz-authored legislation making Hawai‘i eligible for drought management and water...